Archive for September, 2013


Highland Park Linn Sondek


Highland Park single malt whisky, distributed by Maxxium UK, has embarked on an exciting new partnership with Linn to bring award-winning whisky together with the best music systems in the world, celebrating 40 years of exceptional music performance at home.

In 1973 Linn launched the Sondek LP12 turntable, a product which went on to change the world of hi-fi forever. To mark this anniversary, the makers of the best sound systems in the world have joined forces with Highland Park, the makers of the ‘best spirit in the world’ ¹, to stimulate the senses of music and whisky lovers alike.

United by their Scottish roots and dedication to exceptional quality, the globally renowned companies have combined their expertise and craftsmanship to create a limited edition Sondek LP12 turntable. This collaboration features Linn’s highest performance turntable which has been encased in a beautiful wood plinth, crafted from the solid oak casks used to mature Highland Park whisky. A special bottling of Highland Park 40 year old whisky has been designed exclusively to be paired with the turntable.

With just forty Limited Edition Highland Park and Linn Sondek LP12 Turntables available worldwide, they are expected to sell out quickly and become a highly collectible item.  The turntables can be ordered through Linn’s global network of specialist retailers, priced at £25,000.

Highland Park is crafted at one of the oldest single malt distilleries in Scotland, situated on the remote islands of Orkney.  With its unwavering attention to detail and its commitment to time honoured craftsmanship, Highland Park single malt scotch whisky has long been regarded as one of the best whiskies in the world.

Gerry Tosh, Global Marketing Manager for Highland Park, said “Working with Linn and helping to produce such a special version of their iconic Sondek LP12 Turntable is a great honour. Not only have we helped create a great looking piece of kit, the density of our hand selected, Spanish oak casks has also added to the already impressive sound quality.  The joining together of Linn and Highland Park, makes perfect sense and has created a powerful sensory platform that will appeal to both the whisky lover and the music lover – this is sure to be a highly sought after offering that will be desired by our fans from all over the world.”

Angus Lawrie, Marketing Director for Linn, said: “We’re delighted to be working with such an established and quality driven brand to mark this special occasion. Both Highland Park and Linn have a strong heritage in their respective fields.  We share the same values in terms of passion, innovation and exacting standards to ensure we continue to make world-leading products.”

For more information on Highland Park, visit 

¹ Highland Park 25 Year Old was named joint number on ‘Best Spirit in the World’ this year by American drinks expert Paul Pacult, the first time there has ever been a tie for number one position in the World’s Top 120 Spirits awards. Highland Park 18 Year Old was also named ‘Best Spirit in the World’ by Paul Pacult in both 2009 and 2005 in the Spirit Journal Top 115 Spirits awards.


About Highland Park

Established in 1798 on Orkney, Highland Park is one of the most remote Scotch whisky distilleries in the world. For over 200 years, the distillery has combined time old tradition and the very best craftsmanship to achieve perfection. Its range of 12, 18, 21, 25, 30 and 40 year old single malts is consistently acclaimed by connoisseurs and experts.  Highland Park has won a string of prestigious awards across its portfolio, most recently including category winner at the 2011 World Whisky Awards for its 25-year-old single malt and ‘Best Whisky in the World 2009’ for its 21-year-old expression in the World Whisky Awards, as well as four double gold awards in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2009.

Highland Park 18 year old was named Best Spirit in the World by American drinks expert Paul Pacult in Top 115 Spirits, Spirit Journal 2009 and 2005.

Five keystones contribute to making Highland Park:

  • Hand-turned malt adds to the deliciously succulent, balanced layers of aromatic character found in Highland Park
  • Aromatic peat gives a delectably seductive, luxuriant floral sweetness to Highland Park Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • Cool maturation enhances the smooth character of Highland Park Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • Sherry oak casks contribute to the distinctive richness and multi-dimensional complexity of Highland Park
  • Cask harmonization ensures consistency and balance in Highland Park

Highland Park 40 Year Old 

Released in 2008, Highland Park 40 was named Best New Release of the Year at the World Whisky Awards 2009. It has been largely matured in refill casks, that is to say casks that have previously been used to mature whisky. Every time a cask is used, its ability to impart an influence on the spirit is diminished. When laying down a whisky for extended maturation, such as this, it is important that the cask doesn’t dominate the spirit. If first fill casks had been used, the sweetness (an oak-derived additive quality from the cask) would have been too strident.

Tasting Notes 

Appearance: Rich hues of russet and copper

Nose: Spicy and aromatic with a background of rich dark fruits, Nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon zest and darkest chocolate. The use of refill casks, allows, Highland Park’s trademark smoke to be retained, even after 40 years in wood

Palate:Beautiful balance of sweet toffee notes, dark chocolate, black cherries, honey, sun dried orange zest and aromatic heather peat smokiness

Finish: Rich, long, elegant, smoky and surprisingly sweet. Lingers forever

The long-term nature of the maturation of Highland Park 40 year old allows time for the perfect balance to be achieved. The colour, as with all bottlings of Highland Park, is entirely natural; the delicate coppery paleness of the whisky is down to the judicious use of refill casks. The strength (alcohol by volume) is relatively high at 48.3% to deliver maximum flavour.

About Linn

Linn design and make the best music systems in the world. Based in Scotland and established since 1973, Linn manufacture everything in-house, from the electronics in their industry-leading Linn DS technology to the loudspeakers found in homes around the world. The iconic Sondek LP12 turntable continues to set the standard for vinyl playback and the latest digital stream players out-perform any CD or network music player available. Linn systems are sold through a worldwide network of specialist retailers who also share a passion for enriching people’s lives through music. Linn were awarded a Royal Warrant in 2002 as suppliers of entertainment systems to the Royal Household, and received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2012. Linn also record music and sell high resolution Studio Master downloads. Awarded ‘Label of the Year’ by Gramophone magazine for 2010-11, Linn Records were the first label to release Studio Master downloads without DRM (Digital Rights Management) and the site,, now hosts Studio Master releases from labels including Universal, Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Classics.

About Linn’s 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Sondek LP12 Turntable

Linn’s 40th Anniversary Highland Park Limited Edition Sondek LP12 comprises a Kandid moving coil cartridge, Ekos SE tonearm, Keel sub-chassis and armboard Radikal DC motor and power supply, Urika phono stage and LP12 with solid oak Highland Park whisky cask plinth.


TWE Show


The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show 2013 is almost upon us and the trade session, on Monday 7th October, has a number of exciting features including innovative masterclasses from Auchentoshan and William Grant & Sons.

Building on the success of previous years, there will also be whisky makers on hand to delve deeper into the production process, from field to bottle.  The Whisky Show offers you the chance to meet the people behind the drinks brands as well as the buyers, distributors, bartenders and writers who make the industry what it is.

With more than 80 whisky brands and over 400 whiskies to try, along with the usual array of masterclasses, food pairings and cocktail demonstrations, it is a day not to be missed.

Specially crafted masterclasses will be taking place for the trade day – The Auchentoshan Taste Experiments is a continuation of their sell out consumer events that have been held in London this year.  Hosted by Alasdair Dickinson from Morrison Bowmore Distillers, Auchentoshan’s class will feature both a look into the science of flavour with taste experts DunneFrankowski and insight into the use of wood.

William Grant’s will examine one of the most important but seldom seen elements of the whisky industry, single grain whisky.  John Scott of their Girvan Distillery will be on hand to demonstrate the virtues of this excellent spirit and how it should be appreciated.

This year there will also be live distilling demonstrations from The Balvenie, fantastic food and whisky pairings by Martine Nouet as well as music and whisky combinations at the Jazz FM stand.  Ryan Chetiyawardana is back once again with his creative cocktail bars serving up mixed whisky drinks  – this year he has teamed up with Wild Turkey and Cutty Sark to bring some cocktail magic to the show.

Sukhinder Singh, The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show Director, says: “The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show has become the place to experience and enjoy some of the rarest and most prestigious whiskies from around the globe.  With more exhibitors than ever before The Whisky Show is the best event in the world to try new releases and old favourites.”

To register for your free trade pass visit:

Notes to editors:

About The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show:

  • The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show trade session will take place on 7th October
  • The event will take place at Vinopolis, situated near London Bridge.

About Vinopolis:

Vinopolis has been established as an exhibition centre and tasting venue for wines and spirits since 1999, and is located in the arches of a Victorian railway viaduct built in 1866.  With its soaring vaulted arches and perfect location adjacent to the world-famous Borough Market and London Bridge, Vinopolis is the ideal setting for The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show.

Nearby transport links and accommodation make Vinopolis easy to get to for people attending from in and around London, as well as being highly convenient for visitors and exhibitors travelling to the event from further afield.  More information about Vinopolis can be found at

Find us online at:



twitter: @TWEWhiskyShow

Kilchoman Releases its Oldest Whisky to Date – 2007 Vintage – Scotch Whisky News


September 2013: Islay’s independent farm distillery, Kilchoman, is to release the oldest whisky to date. Only 10,000 bottles of the limited edition 2007 Vintage will be made available worldwide and it is expected to sell quickly.

With a smoky vanilla and caramel nose with cooked lemon and citrus fruits, the 2007 Vintage is smooth in the mouth with hints of butterscotch and soft citrus fruit, complimented by a lasting sweetness that blends with the peaty and fruity finish.

Anthony Wills, managing director of Kilchoman, said: “This is an exciting development and sees us enter a long-awaited period in our history. Although we’re a relatively young distillery our Vintage six-year-old shows a level of maturity normally associated with much older whisky.  We predict that this will sell quickly and hope Kilchoman followers share in our excitement in the development of our malt.” 

Kilchoman’s portfolio now includes Machir Bay, Loch Gorm and a new edition of 100% Islay which is the only Single Malt in Scotland where every stage of the whisky making process, from the barley grown in the surrounding fields to the malting, distillation, maturation and bottling, takes place at the distillery.

With an ambition to take whisky production back to its traditional roots, Anthony Wills built and founded Kilchoman Distillery in 2005 on a farm situated on the rugged west coast of Islay. The first distillery on the island for 124 years, Kilchoman is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland and one of only a handful left that still practise the traditional floor malting method.

The 2007 Vintage bottled at 46% ABV will be available from 7 October from specialist drinks and whisky stores, priced at RRP of £52.99, 70cl. Available from and from specialist whisky shops worldwide.


Tasting Notes: Kilchoman 2007 Vintage

Colour: light beech darkening with age

Nose: smoky vanilla and caramel notes with cooked fruits, lemon and citrus

Palate: butterscotch and soft citrus fruit with a lasting sweetness

Finish: peaty and fruity with a long lingering sweetness

About Kilchoman

Since the first bottling was released in 2009, Kilchoman has quickly established itself as a high quality Islay Single Malt within the whisky industry. Awards include two prestigious IWSC Gold and a Silver medal in 2012, Malt Advocates Artisan Whisky of the Year 2011 and GQ’s 100 best things in 2012.

Most recently, Kilchoman’s exceptional quality was recognised at the prestigious International Whisky Competition (IWC), which named Machir Bay as its Whisky of the Year and Anthony Wills as Master Distiller of the Year 2013. In addition, at the IWSC 2013 Awards, Loch Gorm was awarded Gold, Machir Bay received Silver and 100% Islay 2nd Ed was given bronze.

Canadian Whisky News by Davin de Kergommeaux “Whisky Live Toronto 2013” – Whisky News


Toronto’s premiere whisky showcase is moving to the Westin Hotel. “We are re-building an all-improved show in an all-new venue,” says show owner, Dave Sweet. “For starters, we’ve got a great selection of whiskies on pour, we are expanding the buffet, and we have eliminated the tasting vouchers.”

Whisky Ramblings Via Video #62 – Scotch Whisky News


Whisky Ramblings Via Video #62

Mark Dermul, Belgian whisky blogger, discovers a little gem among the lesser known of Johnnie Walker blends. Not to mention the beauty of the bottle. The Johnnie Walker Swing. Now, that is something different. Find out why in Mark’s video rambling!

New Chapter Written for The Glenlivet as The Guardians of The Glenlivet are Invited to Select its Next Single Malt – Scotch Whisky News


New Chapter Written for The Glenlivet as The Guardians of The Glenlivet are Invited to Select its Next Single Malt

The Glenlivet, the original single malt Scotch whisky, is calling on its global community of consumers, The Guardians of The Glenlivet, to create a piece of history by inviting them to select its next limited edition release, The Glenlivet Guardians’ Chapter.

Three exciting new single malt whiskies have been created by Master Distiller Alan Winchester from the distillery’s exceptional cask collection and classified by their taste – CLASSIC, fruity with soft sweet caramel and toffee notes, EXOTIC rich with warm spicy notes and REVIVAL, fruity with a creamy sweetness*.

The three whiskies will be taken on a worldwide tour and showcased at tasting events in dozens of countries; Australia, USA, UK, India, South Africa and Japan to name but a few. Guardians will come together to sample, savour and select the expression they want to become The Glenlivet Guardians’ Chapter and share their passions with other kindred whisky spirits.

A new, content-rich online space has also been created exclusively for Guardians, where they can cast their vote for which expression becomes Guardians’ Chapter. The site explores the Classic, Exotic and Revival themes in other areas of cultural appreciation aside from whisky, such as art, design, style and technology. In addition to tasting notes with a twist, the hub will include short films, photography and interviews aimed to capture the imagination of new and existing whisky fans.

Following the final tasting event in December, the Guardians’ votes will be counted and the winning whisky will be proclaimed “The Guardians’ Chapter”. A limited run of 2000 9 litre cases will be released globally from February 2014.

Nikki Burgess, Brand Director for The Glenlivet, comments: “Choosing a Scotch whisky is normally a privilege reserved for a very select handful of experts revered for their knowledge, passion and experience. With The Glenlivet Guardians’ Chapter, we wanted to recognise and reward the knowledge, passion and experience of our Guardians and invite them to write the next chapter in The Glenlivet’s history. We’re excited to see which whisky our Guardians choose and hope it brings members – new and old – closer together.”

To become a member of The Glenlivet Guardians community, please visit:

* Tasting notes for The Glenlivet Guardians’ Chapter tastes

Classic – 48.7% ABV – non chill filtered
Notes of honey and caramel are able to be tasted due to the Spanish and American oak casks

Exotic – 48.7% ABV – non chill filtered
A darker and deeper flavour is developed from the use of sherry casks

Revival – 48.7% ABV – non chill filtered
The refill bourbon casks deliver hints of vanilla, fresh fruit and crème brûlée


RRP: $85

About The Glenlivet

The Glenlivet is the No 2 single malt Scotch whisky in the world. Crafted in the remote Livet Valley since 1824, it is the only whisky with the unchallengeable right to be called The Glenlivet.

For further news of upcoming events: Visit or

About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth Gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport.

In July 2010, Chivas Brothers launched The Age Matters campaign to help consumers understand the importance of Scotch whisky age statements.

Pernod Ricard Unveils New Ballantine’s Look – Scotch Whisky News


Pernod Ricard Unveils New Ballantine’s Look

Pernod Ricard has unveiled a bold new-look bottle for its Ballantine’s ‘Finest’ expression, aimed at the modern generation of whisky drinkers. The new bottle (RRP R140.00) will roll out across the country at selected retailers from September 2013.

With design elements including a chevron-shaped label that echoes the iconic wings of the historic Finest label, the new look gives the bottle a more dynamic, eye-catching look on shelf. Premium quality cues have been enhanced through a more prominent positioning of the brand’s crest and a simplification of the Ballantine’s seal, which amplifies the Ballantine’s ‘B’. The word ‘Finest’ also features in a more premium gold colouring.

Pernod Ricard noted: “The Ballantine’s Finest bottle has changed very little over the years, but we recognised a need for the look to be updated to offer our customers a stunning bottle that delivers stand-out on shelf. We wanted to ensure that our new design stayed true to our proud heritage and identified with our loyal customers, whilst also being seen as a contemporary, vibrant brand, and we’re delighted with the final result”.

Ballantine's logo

Gold Rush for BUSHMILLS™ in 2013 Spirit Competitons – Irish Whiskey News

Bottle Range

Gold Rush for BUSHMILLS™ in 2013 spirit competitons 


Each year, groups of whisky experts gather in sealed rooms around the globe, seeking to crown the world’s best whisk(e)y.

In 2013 their decisions have proven successful for one whiskey in particular – BUSHMILLS™ Irish Whiskey.

The whiskey, hailing from its namesake on the north coast of Ireland where it’s been made for centuries, has picked up 36 accolades already this year across its entire range, including 15 gold medals, from seven of the most respected awards bodies and experts in the world.

This includes, for the second year running, the much sought-after title of ‘Best Irish Whiskey’ for BUSHMILLS™ 21 Year Old Single Malt, from the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The rare whiskey, which is finished in a Madeira cask, was also named ‘Best Irish Single Malt Aged 21 Years and Over’ at the World Whiskies Awards, won gold for ‘Best Premium Whisky’ at the 2013 International Whisky Competition, and won a further two gold medals at the 2013 International Spirits Challenge and The Spirit Business Irish Whiskey Masters.

The awards underline an extraordinary year for the distillery, during which it has also hosted Bushmills Live – the world’s only music festival held in an Irish Whiskey distillery, featuring world-class artists Of Monsters and Men and Jake Bugg, among a host of others. 

Kate Glenn, Global Brand Director, BUSHMILLS™ Irish Whiskey, highlighted the importance of the international accolades: “We’ve been making whiskey at the Old Bushmills Distillery for centuries and the quality of our liquid is the foundation on which our success is built. So it’s fantastic to see these efforts recognised by the most respected experts and awards bodies in the world.”

“The quality of our liquid is one of the key aspects that has supported the phenomenal international success of BUSHMILLS™ Irish Whiskey. In 2012 alone sales saw double digit growth supported by distribution into new markets, our innovative marketing programme, our Bushmills Live festival and partnerships with global influencers such as Elijah Wood.”



  • BUSHMILLS™      Irish Whiskey is handcrafted in small batches for a smooth taste at      Ireland’s oldest working whiskey distillery, in Co. Antrim, Northern      Ireland. The brand portfolio includes seven variants: BUSHMILLS, BLACK, BUSH, BUSHMILLS 10 Year Old Single Malt, BUSHMILLS 16 Year Old Single Malt, BUSHMILLS 21 Year Old Single      Malt, our anniversary edition, BUSHMILLS 1608 and BUSHMILLS Irish Honey Spirit      Drink which is available in selected markets only.
  • Awards won by the BUSHMILLS range in 2013: 
BUSHMILLS™ Blended Irish Whiskey
Ultimate   Spirits Challenge Blended   Irish Whiskey category, scored 91 – Excellent, Highly Recommended, Great Value   Accolade.
San   Francisco World Spirits Competition Gold   Medal for Blended Malted Irish Whiskey.
The   International Whisky Competition 2013 Best   Irish Whisky, Bronze medal
International   Spirits Challenge 2013 Silver
The   Spirit Business Irish Whiskey Masters Gold
International   Wine and Spirit Competition Silver
BLACK BUSH   Blended Irish Whiskey
San   Francisco World Spirits Competition Silver   Medal for Blended Malted Irish Whiskey.
Ultimate   Spirits Challenge Blended   Irish Whiskey category, Finalist  –   scored 93- Excellent, Highly Recommended Accolade.
The   International Whisky Competition 2013 Best   Irish Whisky, Silver medal
World   Whiskies Award Irish   Blended No Age Statement Category Winner
International   Spirits Challenge 2013 Gold
The   Spirit Business Irish Whiskey Masters Master
International   Wine and Spirit Competition Silver   Outstanding
BUSHMILLS™ 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
San   Francisco World Spirits Competition Gold   Medal for Single Malt Irish Whiskey.
Ultimate   Spirits Challenge Single   Malt Irish Whiskey category, Finalist – scored 94, Excellent, Highly   Recommended Accolade
The   International Whisky Competition 2013 Whisky   of the Year, Bronze medal.
International   Spirits Challenge 2013 Gold
The   Spirit Business Irish Whiskey Masters Silver
International   Wine and Spirit Competition Silver   Outstanding
BUSHMILLS™ 16 Year   Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
San   Francisco World Spirits Competition Double   Gold Medal for Single Malt Irish Whiskey.
Ultimate   Spirits Challenge Single   Malt Irish Whiskey category,– scored 90, Excellent, Highly Recommended   Accolade
World   Whiskies Awards Irish   Single Malt 13 to 20 Years category winner
The   International Whisky Competition 2013 Best   Irish Whisky, Gold medal
International   Spirits Challenge 2013 Silver
The   Spirit Business Irish Whiskey Masters Gold
International   Wine and Spirit Competition Silver
BUSHMILLS™ 21 Year   Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
San   Francisco World Spirits Competition Best   Irish Whiskey, Double Gold Medal
Ultimate   Spirits Challenge Single   Malt Irish Whiskey category, Finalist – scored 93, Excellent, Highly   Recommended Accolade
World   Whiskies Awards Irish   Single Malt 21 Years and Over category winner
The   International Whisky Competition 2013 Best   Premium Whisky , Gold medal
International   Spirits Challenge 2013 Gold
The   Spirit Business Irish Whiskey Masters Gold
International   Wine and Spirit Competition Silver   Outstanding
BUSHMILLS™ Irish   Honey Spirit Drink
San   Francisco World Spirits Competition Gold   Medal
Ultimate   Spirits Challenge Liqueur   category – scored 88 – Very good, strong recommendation accolade.
The   Spirit Business Irish Whiskey Masters Master

About Diageo

Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s, Windsor and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people and its brands, visit For Diageo’s global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “FLAVOURSOME CASK ENDS SALE” – Scotch Whisky News

SMWS 2013


Cask Ends PAIRS recommendations….mix and match your flavours

Smoky Sweetness: 3.204 & 85.26 now only £142.40 (was £178)
Ideal for those that favour a sweet and fruity flavour…3.204 has a light smoke and 85.26, a ‘distant incense’ type smoke – perfect for gently dipping your toe in the peaty water


Sweet & Sour: 37.54 & 41.56 now only £127.76 (was £159.70)
Both these contradictory drams offer a mouth-watering sweetness with a fascinating sour note…unusual and interesting indeed!


Apples & oranges: 26.92 & 7.87 now £144.19 (was £180.20)
Both these drams are fruity but they are as different as apples and oranges. Along with it’s apple notes, 7.87 is made to make your mouth water, bursting with a wide range of tropical fruits. In the other hand we have 26.92 with it’s crystallised orange, pear and lemon but with more of a spicy, mouth-drying character. Have fun getting fruity!


Browse Cask End Bottlings

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ Contact: or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm). Visit the Society at for your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers.

Spot the SMWS bottles in this You Tube video

Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #396 – American Whiskey News

Ralfy_zpsf0666f22 combines old age with rye to explore Whisky Review 396 – Rittenhouse 25yo Rye whisky.

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